Matzek continues work on mechanics
Left-hander focuses on fundamentals in bullpens and flat-ground work
DENVER -- Lefty Tyler Matzek's blessing and curse is once a game begins, a competitive instinct rules him. So as he works on the specific flaws that caused him to be sent down to Triple-A Albuquerque, the Rockies have decided to remove game action from the equation.
Matzek was removed from his scheduled start Monday against Sacramento, and player development director Zach Wilson said Matzek will work on specific fundamentals in bullpens and flat-ground work. Albuquerque pitching coach Darryl Scott and Minor League pitching coordinator Doug Linton are in charge of the retooling.
"This gives him a chance to focus on other things, outside of trying to win a baseball game, and sometimes there are situations where you have to take a break from that type of competitive environment," Wilson said. "This is a minor thing for him. It's not a significant worry.
"It's just the best course of action, whether it's skipping one start, two starts or three starts, I don't know right now. But he is fully invested in this thing."
A member of the season-opening rotation, Matzek, 24, managed a 2-0 record and 2.70 ERA through his first four starts despite 13 walks and three hit batters in 20 innings. But a two-inning, six-walk mess in a May 6 loss to the D-backs led the Rockies to option him.
In Matzek's first and only game at Albuquerque, he lasted just one inning and walked seven, hit one and gave up seven runs.
Wilson said this is different from 2009. Matzek, the team's top Draft pick in 2009, was struggling enough that he requested and received a mental break for a month before returning to Class A Asheville to finish the year. This time, Wilson said, Matzek is working on specific mechanics.
"Tyler Matzek is a very tough, competitive athlete. The thing he's always done through the ups and downs of various episodes is remain tough. He has never backed down. There is always something inside him from a competitive nature that cannot be taken away from him. That got him through things before and that will get him through this minor hiccup.
"We have no doubt he will find success here, and be back at the Major League level."
• While the disabled list is a consideration for outfielder Corey Dickerson, he doesn't want that just for the pain of his plantar fasciitis.
If the tissue tears and he needs down time to heal, though, that's different -- better in some ways.
"After it's torn, there's no more pain," Dickerson said. "What they do in surgery is they cut it anyway. But they go in, and it's a longer process."
Dickerson said the heel tissue loosened a bit Monday, so he felt better.
• Righty reliever LaTroy Hawkins gave up a run on two hits in one inning Sunday for Triple-A Albuquerque in his second injury rehab game for biceps tendinitis. Hawkins gave up a run in 2/3 of an inning Friday. Sunday was slightly better -- 18 pitches for three outs as opposed to 28 for two outs.
Righty reliever Brooks Brown, on the disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, pitched a scoreless inning Saturday and was scheduled to pitch Monday. Brown is eligible to be activated Tuesday, but the Rockies expect to give him some more rehab time.